9 Easy Coroplast Substitutes For Guinea Pig Cages

If you’re looking to provide your piggies with a great C&C (or cubes and coroplast) cage, but don’t want to go through the hassle of cutting (or buying coroplast) you’ve come to the right place!

There’s actually a lot of people who end of not using coroplast as the base for their guinea pig cages. Luckily, they’re pretty free with sharing what they use in Facebook and other Internet forms.

And folks have gotten really creative with substituting coroplast with other materials, such as:

  • shower curtains
  • thick plastic tablecloths
  • plastic placemats
  • carboard covered in plastic sheeting
  • linoleum squares
  • waterproof mattress liners
  • wallboard
  • outdoor tarps
  • waterproof drop cloths
  • open house signs
picture of a guinea pig in a cage

Whew! That was a lot. But, it’s important for you to know that you don’t need to stick with coroplast if you don’t want to. There’s plenty of options open to you.

I’m going to cover each coroplast alternative in a little more detail below. But, first let’s talk about…

What Should You Look For In A Coroplast Replacement?

coroplast substitutes for guinea pig cages

Coroplast is a popular base for guinea pig cages, because it has certain qualities that make guinea pig maintenance easier. Any alternative has to have the bulk of those same qualities.

Let’s go over some of the most important ones:

  • Waterproof: Piggies are going to pee all over the place and you don’t want their urine damaging your floor. If the material isn’t waterproof, there’ll be issues with smell and cleanliness – which can make your cavies sick
  • Easy To Clean: One of the best things about coroplast is that it’s so easy to wipe clean. Any substitute must be able to do this as well. It should also be easy to remove stains from the surface when needed.
  • Durable: The last thing you want is for your new coroplast replacement to fall apart after just one use. So make sure that whatever you choose has strong construction and won’t break down easily.
  • Lightweight: When it’s cut to size, coroplast usually isn’t very heavy at all. You can easily lift it up (providing that you have enough hands to do so.
  • Easy to manipulate: Coroplast is easily cut to the size and shape of whichever cage size you want. So, whatever you choose should be able to be manipulated just as easily.

So what’s out there?

Now that we have a set of criteria to use, let’s take a look at some real coroplast alternatives that you can use starting with…

1. Shower Curtains

Shower curtains are one of the best possible coroplast replacements out there and it has all of the qualities mentioned above.

It’s extremely durable, lightweight, waterproof, easy to clean and will not harbor bacteria (as long as you remember to clean it regularly) – and of course , it’s easy to manipulate. They also look pretty cool.

Bonus? You can just throw it in the washing machine when needed. (But, shake those droppings into the trash first!)

This’ll save you time and energy as opposed to having to scrub down the materials yourself (which is a big plus – especially if you don’t have a lot of spare time).

Follow these steps:

  • Lay the shower curtain at the base of the C&C grids
  • Cut and adjust as needed to cover the surface area of the base
  • Add an additional absorbent layer on top – or any other type of lining that you want. Some people like to use fleece fabric for extra softness and comfort.
The woman in the video built the cage for a hedgehog (which is why it’s so small), but the method for using a shower curtain instead of coroplast is the same. 🙂

???? If you want some more information about guinea pig bedding and cages, check out these posts:

2. Thick Plastic Tablecloths

You may already own a tablecloth at home, but did you ever think about how much easier it’d be to protect your guinea pigs’ cages?

Tablecloths are perfect for this purpose since they are thin and light weight and easily to manipulate

You can cut them into various sizes and shapes and line the floors of your guinea pig cage with it. 

Just make sure that you get THICK plastic table cloths. If you use a thin plastic, then your guinea pigs might chew through it or tear it with their little nails.

It’s best to use the heavy duty plastic table cloths since they are not only thick, but tough.  They’ll last longer.

But, if they don’t…at least they’re cheap to replace, right?

3. Plastic Placemats

Most people have placemats in their homes. But, you can easily DIY a the base of your piggies’ cage with them, too.

The best thing about the placements are that they’re:

  • pretty inexpensive
  • able to easily fit smaller cages without needing to be cut to size

All you have to do buy enough to coverage the square footage of your cage.

Since you’ll probably need several, you’ll have to duct tape them together. (But that’s a minor annoyance, considering the overall cost benefits.)

No matter which coroplast alternative you use, make sure that you use binder clips to attach the material to the grids on the side. That way, you won’t have to deal with so much of a mess being kicked out of your piggies’ cage.

4. Cardboard Covered In Plastic Sheeting

Cardboard is sturdy. Plastic is waterproof. That makes a fantastic combination for replacing a coroplast base.  

This is an option if you want a sturdier base, but don’t want to use the coroplast.

And huge pieces of cardboard and plastic sheeting are easily available online on in home improvement stores.

Follow these tips:

  • Just trim the cardboard to size with a box cutter. 
  • Puzzle together extra pieces to fit the size of your cage
  • Wrap them in plastic sheeting

Then you’re ready (or at least as ready as you’ll ever be) to allow your piggies some time on the cardboard.

5. Linoleum

coroplast substitutes for guinea pig cages

Linoleum is an inexpensive alternative that can be used in place of coroplast and will last a long time. You can use a sheet of linoleum (cut to size) or squares of linoleum.

It’s easy to cut with a utility knife or strong scissors. And it’s waterproof AND durable. Win! Wins all around.

Since linoleum can be slippery (which’ll probably make your little friends uncomfortable), I suggest that you use fleece liners for bedding.

Here are a couple of other tips to keep in mind if you choose this alternative:

  • A smooth piece of linoleum would be easier to clean than something textured.
  • If you have the squares, tape them together with duct tape and you will have a base to make a cage.

6. Waterproof Mattress Liners

Mattress liners might be what you’re after. There’s a lot of advantages to using them

They’re waterproof, which is definitely a plus!

Bonus points for being lightweight and easy to clean as well – as long as you don’t mind using your washing machine.

If you’re like me and have kids who wet the bed, you might have some spare waterproof mattress liners lying around. If not, mattress liners are also easy to find cheap at most local stores and online.

Just make sure that the mattress liner you get is big enough to go around the cage grid.

And be prepared to wash the liner at least once or twice a week.

Keep a tape measure nearby – especially if you need to cut the material you chose to size.

7. Wallboard 

This is a type of board made from wood pulp, plaster, or other material, used for covering walls and ceilings.

It’s an excellent choice for guinea pigs since it’s waterproof and very durable. You may also want to put fleece bedding or noodle mats on top of it for comfort and traction.

Keep a few points in mind if you choose to purchase wallboard for the base of your guinea pigs’ cage:

  • you’ll have to get your home improvement store to cut it to size for you (if they’ll do it at all, some places don’t always do it anymore) or do it yourself; otherwise it won’t fit in the cage base
  • put duct tape (or some similar cover) on the edges, because they might be a little jagged

Other than that, you’ll find that it’s a very  well-made material.

8. Outdoor Tarps

A tarp is a large sheet of strong, flexible, water-resistant or waterproof material that can be made out of cloth, plastic, or other materials. ‘

They’re also called a tarpaulin, a tent, or a fly – and it’s a suitable substitute for coroplast.

They come in various sizes depending on how big your cage is.

The best thing about them is that they are very affordable compared to coroplast.

Untreated canvas tarps are reusable and easier to clean. Toss them in the washing machine with a gentle detergent and you’ll have a clean tarp in no time.

Most tarps resist mildew, but mildew still can form if you’re not careful. So, allow them to drip dry before you put them back in the cage.

9. Use Signs

Many signs are made of corrugated plastic. That happens to be the same material the coroplast is made of.

The only difference is that you’ll probably have to get several signs to cover the base of your guinea pig’s cage. And then you’d have to duct tape them together to fit the base of the cage.

If you go to your local sign store (or a home improvement store), you might find several signs are on sale.

And if you do, you’ll have some more options to cover your guinea pig cage without having to buy coroplast sheets.

A very large sign might be expensive, but several smaller signs would probably work just as well and cost less.  

In addition, they’re easier to carry home from the store.

Frequently Asked Questions About Guinea Pig Cages

What Should I Look For In A Guinea Pig Cage?

1. Size – The size should be big enough so that the guinea pig can move around freely and not feel cramped or confined. It is also important to make sure there are no sharp edges on the cage, as this could cause injury if it gets caught up in something.

2. Ventilation – Make sure you have adequate ventilation in your cavy’s cage. Solid walls aren’t the best way to go, because they don’t allow for any kind of cross ventilation.

3.Proper Flooring – wire flooring is absolutely terrible for guinea pigs to walk on.   It’s way too rough, and it can cause all sorts of sores and injuries for your guinea pig.

4.Predator proof – If you have a pet dog or a cat, the cage should be high enough off the ground so that your dog or cat can’t get into it. You might even consider buying a study lid for the cage as well.

Do You Need a Lid On A C&C Cage?

The only time you need a lid on a C&C cage is if you have other pets in the home that might harm the piggies or a very active bunch of furry friends that like to jump out of their cages. Other than that, many pet parents house their little friends in C&C cages without lids.

What Size Should My Habitat Be?

The average guinea pig cage should be at least 7.5 square feet. And that’s the absolute smallest size it should be. Bigger is always better when it comes to cages for piggies. Pet stores don’t normally sell cages that are big enough for cages.

Where Can I Buy Coroplast For Guinea Pig Cages?

You can go to a local print shop to buy a sheet of coroplast for a C&C cage. You can also look on craigslist, sign shops, or home improvement stores. And of course you can buy it online. Those are your best bets. I’ve never found coroplast at craft stores.

What Can I Use For The Bottom Of A Guinea Pig Cage?

Once you’ve chosen what you want your base for your cage to be (such as sheets of coroplast, linoleum, tarp, etc), then you can use a variety of different beddings on the bottom of your piggie’s cage.  Avoid pet store cages if you can.  Most aren’t designed for guinea pigs – they’re much too small and the cage design doesn’t allow for proper movement.

Conclusion

You don’t need to use a coroplast base for your little friends’ cages.  There’s a variety of inexpensive materials that you can substitute for coroplast in order to create the perfect guinea pig habitat. They’re include:

  • shower curtains
  • thick plastic tablecloths
  • plastic placemats
  • carboard covered in plastic sheeting
  • linoleum squares
  • waterproof mattress liners
  • wallboard
  • outdoor tarps
  • waterproof drop cloths
  • open house signs

Now that you have your options, what are you going to pick? Let me know in the comments below.

Bacterial disease of the foot – Bumblefoot in Guinea pigs | PetMD. (2010, July 22). The Best Pet Health & Care Advice from Real Vets | PetMD. https://www.petmd.com/exotic/conditions/skin/c_ex_gp_pododermatitis

Cavia aperea (Brazilian Guinea pig). (n.d.). Animal Diversity Web. https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Cavia_aperea/

Domestic Guinea pig. (n.d.). BioWeb Home. https://bioweb.uwlax.edu/bio203/s2008/nickel_sara/interactions.htm

DVM, S. L. (2015). The Guinea pig handbook. Barron’s Educational Series.

Guinea pig housing. (n.d.). The Humane Society of the United States. https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/guinea-pig-housing

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